Madelene
Madelene asked:

what is the meaning of "the man who moves a mountain begins by carrying stones"?

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Annie Feng I'm working through the text in its original Chinese, and haven't come across this quote. If you have a page number or chapter to point me to, perhaps I'd be more equipped to provide a more comprehensive answer. A quick google search would suggest that it's the proverb of "愚公移山", which is the story of a "foolish" man whose goal was to move a mountain, and was laughed at by all. He moved a stone at a time and slowly, over years, did in fact move the mountain, and it goes to show that small, insignificant actions add up over time. This proverb doesn't seem to originate from a Confucius text, it's probably older. From http://latindiscussion.com/forum/lati...

"The source of 愚公移山 is not Confucius (Kǒng Zǐ ), but Liè Zĭ (or Liè Yǔ Kòu, to give him his full name). Liè Zĭ was one of the three main philosophers who originally formulated the tenets of Daoist philosophy. He is thought to have lived around a century after Confucius.

愚公移山 is not really a proverb as such, but only the title of a fable found in the Lie Zi (the name given to Lie Zi's writings). You have to know the content of the fable in order to understand the significance of the words - literally "Yu* Gong moves mountains**".

My source for the information on Lie Zi is the baike.com website, where you can find the fable in the original ancient Chinese and in a modern adaptation.

Whether any Chinese philosopher ever actually said "The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones" is another matter, and I suspect the answer is that none ever did.

* The particular character for yú means "foolish" in Chinese, but serves in the fable as an ironic name for a man who appeared foolish but was actually wise. "
Sieglinde I got the impression that it means you start a large job in small steps. This could even include learning a new thing.
Tony Philpin It is almost an analogy with geological process like glaciation., itself a slow attritive process. Mountains really are eroded by carrying stones, away from them.
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